During tough financial times, it can be hard to picture-making money from investing. However, savvy Canadians have always found a way to invest wisely in the long term. There are ways to make your money work for you no matter what phase of life you’re in. From the best investing books for beginners to the best overall books for investing, here is a selection of the top investing books for Canadian investors.
Best investing books for beginners and young investors
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
This book is about what the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not. It’s also as much of a memoir of one man’s learning curve in personal finance, as it is a guide to how you can succeed. This relatable story imparts homespun yet valuable advice, making it a great investing book for beginners.
The book was originally written more than 20 years ago. However, it’s still relevant today. Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of experiencing the philosophies of two dads. His own father (“Poor Dad”) is a teacher, while his friend’s father (“Rich Dad”) is an entrepreneur. Kiyosaki’s exposure to the two dads shows how to make your money work for you rather than working for money. Plus, he outlines ways of creating wealth even without a high income.
Stop Over-Thinking Your Money by Preet Banerjee
Canadian personal finance expert Preet Banerjee outlines five simple rules for personal finances in this reader-friendly book. Actually, this is not strictly speaking an investment book. However, we’ve included it here among the best investing books for beginners and young investors. In Stop Over-thinking Your Money, Banerjee explains how you should view money. He helps you focus on the 20% of what you really need to know to confidently take charge of your finances. And then, with careful money management, you could have money to invest.
I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Here is the perfect book to guide 20-35-year-olds to financial success. It’s an ideal investing book for beginners and young investors because it covers a broad range of financial advice. It also includes a 6-week personal finance program. The book takes you step-by-step through actions that can improve finances. This includes everything from budgeting and savings to investing, banking and entrepreneurship.
4. Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
How could we resist including this book in the line-up of best investing books for beginners and young investors? Really, the title is as compelling as the content. Lowry sub-titles the book with “Stop living paycheck to paycheck and get your financial life together!”
Broke Millennial shows you how to go from flat-broke to viable. The book doesn’t just cover standard issues like credit card debt, investing, and budgeting. Financial expert Erin Lowry goes beyond the basics. How? She tackles tricky money matters and situations many Millennials face:
– Understanding your relationship with money. For example, do you treat it like a Tinder date or marriage material?
– Managing student loans without having a full-on panic attack.
– What to do when you’re out with friends and can’t afford to split the bill evenly.
The book is promoted as, “packed with refreshingly simple advice and hilarious true stories, Broke Millennial is the essential roadmap every financially clueless millennial needs to become a money master.” Sounds like an ideal investing book for beginners!
Best financial literacy book for kids
Kids are certainly beginners in the investing and personal finance space! And while financial literacy is a must for all Canadians, of all income levels, it’s a whole other ballgame when you’re in a position of teaching it to your kids. To help you out, we recommend:
Raising Money-Smart Kids: How to Teach Your Kids About Money While Learning a Few Things Yourself by Robin Taub
Robin Taub, a Chartered Professional Accountant, originally published Raising Money-Smart Kids through CPA Canada in 2011. In this updated version from 2020, Taub outlines each lifestage and acknowledges our increasingly mobile and cashless world. Her goal is to explain why it’s important to teach kids about money, the best ways of explaining these topics, and a detailed look at the key topics for each age.
Best investing books of all time (most popular)
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
What bigger compliment could there be than being described by investment guru Warren Buffett as the best book on investing ever written? That is the case for Graham’s The Intelligent Investor first published in 1949. As a leading investment advisor, Graham advocated “value investing”. The goal is to protect investors from costly mistakes and teach them how to develop long-term strategies. The latest edition features the late Mr.Graham’s insights plus current input from The Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig.
The book provides advice on getting started in investing as well as ongoing strategies for success. Graham’s philosophy was to invest in stocks that appear undervalued. That’s in comparison to their inherent value that can be determined through fundamental analysis.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
Have you been exhausting yourself trying to outsmart the stock market? Well, this easy-to-digest 200-page book explains how to stop trying to beat the market. First, keep things simple. Second, lower your investing fees. Finally, focus on a longer investment horizon. The sub-title of Bogle’s book is, “the only way to guarantee your fair share of stock market returns”. This book is for investors just dipping a toe in the market — and equally for those who are already in the deep end.
Bogle founded The Vanguard Group and is known as the ‘Father of Index Investing’. He provides real-world advice with thorough explanations of index investing and mutual funds. These can be less risky options compared to making stock picks. Bogle favours index funds to beat performance on mutual funds and illustrates why.
3. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher
Philip Fisher is a highly influential investor who wrote Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits in 1958. His son Ken Fisher is also an investment expert and has subsequently expanded on the original for the paperback edition of the book. The book is considered a classic top investing book, particularly for growth investors. Included in this book are Fisher’s valued “Fifteen Points to Look for in a Common Stock”.
Warren Buffet has described the book this way: “I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits…A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil’s techniques…enables one to make intelligent investment commitments.”
Best books for investing in stocks
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
Tobias’ book was written in the 70s and updated in 2016 in a user-friendly format. The content relates to any level of investor, whether you have a little or a lot to invest. The updated guide provides new insight into online investing and also outlines when to invest in stocks and how.
Although the book covers U.S. tax strategies and some other American-centric situations, Canadians will still find value in its investing advice. With millions of copies sold, this is one of the best books on stock investing.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
Burton Malkiel provides a time-tested strategy for successful investing in this guide to navigating the market and managing investments. Malkiel looks at standard frameworks for analyzing stock performance. He believes technical analysis is not reliable. Malkiel recommends getting around the random behaviour of the market. Do that by investing in low-cost index funds versus stock picking.
In the 11th edition of the book, Malkiel includes new perspectives on ETFs, emerging markets, and derivatives. You can find tips on assessing potential returns on everything from stocks and bonds to money markets in this investment book.
One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Well-known investor Peter Lynch advocates that you can invest just as well as a pro. He believes that if you pay attention to products and services in your daily life, it can help you make good investing decisions. You might notice something impactful at the supermarket or drug store. And that could prove worthy of investment.
Lynch provides a great example of this kind of opportunity in this best investing book. He invested in Dunkin’ Donuts because, as a customer, he was impressed with their coffee. After looking into the company’s financials, Lynch decided to invest in Dunkin’ Donuts. There’s no doubt that he did very well on their stock performance as a result. Clearly, paying attention can pay off.
One up on Wall Street shares Lynch’s investment technique, with chapters on stock classifications, designing a portfolio, and more.
Best investing books for more advanced investing concepts + investors
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffett
For advanced investors, there is perhaps no one like Warren Buffett. He is viewed by many as America’s top investment guru. Sure, investors watch the ups and downs of the stock market, but at the same time, they are watching what moves Buffett is making.
The Essays are a collection of Buffett’s letters to the shareholders of investment house Berkshire Hathaway. Written over several decades, they provide insight on sound business practices. The essays are arranged and introduced by Lawrence Cunningham. The book shares business insight in an engaging way for money managers and investors.
Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd
Benjamin Graham is considered to be ‘the father of value investing’. He wrote “Security Analysis” in 1934 and it has subsequently sold over a million copies with six editions issued. The most recent edition has 200 added pages of commentary from leading money managers on Wall Street. These current experts in value investing make the book even more relevant. They show how the original writers’ principles apply to today’s market.
Expected Returns by Antti Ilmanen
Expected Returns provides the means for investors to harvest market rewards from diverse investments. Some of the skills in Ilmanen’s toolkit include how to forecast returns under different parameters. And she also covers expected returns on major asset classes, investment strategies, and the effects of underlying risk factors.
Forecasting expected returns requires balancing historical results with analytics and current market conditions. For sophisticated investors interested in advanced investing concepts, Expected Returns won’t disappoint. The book provides data and surveys of investing theories along with practical insights.
Best overall books about investing
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
It’s hard to believe that a book written in 1937 can still be relevant today. However, the economic impact of Coronavirus, unfortunately, makes for some commonality between the Great Depression and now. Hill’s book has stood the test of time for many readers over the past 80+ years. The book has sold over 100 million copies globally.
Think and Grow Rich looks at the psychology behind success and plenty. Hill observed and researched the wealthy people he knew. From that, he derived 13 principles for success and personal achievement. Those include desire, faith, specialized knowledge, organized planning, persistence, and the “sixth sense”. He also advocates collaboration with other people having similar aspirations.
The Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam
This book, written by a teacher, highlights the nine rules of wealth you should have learned in school. Because it shows how anyone can build a lucrative portfolio, we’ve selected this book as one of the best overall books about investing. Yes, you can prosper even on a low salary.
Among Hallam’s wealth rules is how to make money through a responsible portfolio. He advocates the power of compound interest to grow investments and to avoid paying unnecessary fees. Finally, some of the advice relates to self-perception and your relationship with money.
3. Talk Money to Me by Kelley Keehn
Canadian personal finance advisor and educator Kelley Keehn’s book covers the broad spectrum of personal finance. She advocates saving well, spending some money, and feeling good about your finances. The book addresses how and when to invest for your future, along with other personal finance goals such as working to be mortgage-free and building good credit.
Keehn uses relatable anecdotes to highlight how to steer clear of typical money mistakes so you can make good financial decisions. If you are looking for a resource to help get your personal finances to a good place so you can start investing for your future, this is a great resource.
4. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
We leave you with this book that provides inspiration on how to become a millionaire. Over a 20-year span, the authors researched how America’s millionaires acquired their wealth. Surprisingly, most were not born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth.
This best investing book shares the seven traits of self-made millionaires. Those include:
- Living well below their means
- Allocating time, energy, and money efficiently in ways that build wealth
- Being self-made
- Having a greater interest in financial independence than on showing off social status
- Bringing up children to be financially self-sufficient
- Choosing professions with the flexibility to be self-employed.
Tom Stanley and his daughter Sarah Stanley Fallaw have done further research on self-made, financially successful Americans. In this later edition, they discuss how specific decisions, behaviours, and characteristics align with the discipline of wealth building. Additional topics covered include consumption, budgeting, careers, investing, and financial management in general.
The authors then describe paths to building wealth on your own. This focuses specifically on careers and lifestyles associated with each path and what it takes to be successful in each. This makes The Next Millionaire Next Door a great fit for our best overall books about investing.